Becky Wren

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Doll Flu
4/10/2018 8:56am

Covered with gunk and grime from my quest through the caves and catacombs beneath the school, I returned to the surface, great gunnysacks of Fâhrèé dust slung on my back. While happy to have arrived unscathed from the horrors of the Fâhrèé-Araneæ war, I was unprepared for the toll the Doll Flu has taken on the school. So many students stricken, staring sullenly through heavy lidded eyes, or marching maniacally through the halls and grounds. Though Sub-chief Grimswold was generous with his gift, I fear it may not be enough! One cup per sick student? And how will it be distributed? These dolls are no longer docile.

I dropped off my delivery for @Dr Krimsborg, DPM and Head Nurse Abalone at the clinic, tripping over tiny beds and cast off doll shoes in the waiting room. Now I must return to my belfry, where no doubt my bats miss me as much as I missed them, and will let the doctors decide on the dosages.

Doll Flu
4/5/2018 9:08am

The Fâhrèé-Araneæ war continues to be brutal, with heavy losses on both sides. Sub-chief Grimswold has taken me under his wing. Grizzled and grey and too old to be on the front lines, he keeps the pups and elders from the fighting, moving them from place to place to keep them safe. I was arrested upon my arrival, but luckily my bat handling credentials were enough to earn their trust. However, I’m nothing more than a liability in their highly mechanized and horrific war against the spider folk.

Both sides discovered a massive new cave system simultaneously, and neither was interested in giving up ground to the other. From the high peaks we watch the warriors from both forces cross the caverns. The spiders advance in their massive spider tanks, spindly segmented steel crawling over the cave walls; while the bat folk in their flying armor fly out in formation, dropping bat bombs and flaming guano on the advancing army. We watch as a phalanx of spider tanks is driven off a cliff, smashing on the rocks hundreds of meters below, their mechanical feet waving in the air as their drivers are crushed in the crashing machinery, smoke swirling all around. Then we watch in more horror as a squadron of Fâhrèé are forced from the air, caught in a flying web net, armored wings flapping uselessly as they impact with sick thuds on the cavern floor.

I see no end to this madness, and I’m just one more civilian to watch out for in the fog of subterranean war. Sub-chief Grimswold was happy to hand over as much of their coveted wing dust as I could carry (as it would get me out of his hair), and today I begin my trek back to the surface world, leaving this horrible conflict behind.

Doll Flu
3/28/2018 5:04pm

I’m not the first to find my way through these cavernous catacombs beneath the school. There’s junk in the tunnels from journeys dating way way back: cavelights and compasses, carabiners and climbing cord, old tin cans and fossils. It’d be easy for a soul to get lost—if it weren’t for my flock of bats to lead the way. Guide bats! Just give them a sonic signature and they won’t stop searching till they find it.

In this case, that sonic signature is of the Fâhrèé, the bat people of bat lore. Yes, it’s true their distinct self defense techniques have been stolen by certain superheroes, but there’s plenty more to respect about this ancient race. It’s a pilgrimage every bat handler longs to take—I only hope I can leave with the medicine I require to fix the flu problem back on campus.

I hope I shall arrive soon.

Doll Flu
3/24/2018 11:30pm

Darn it! That ding dong Debbie the Doll Manager dribbles trouble wherever she goes. Turns out she drug her contagious crew of demented dolls right into a dorm and spread their dirty disease directly into the heart of Psyhigh! I can’t help but feel partly responsible.

But it turns out I may be able to mitigate this madness, at least a smidgen. Apparently, the cure lies with the Batfolk--the Fâhrèé as they are officially called. Every bat handler has heard of them, but they don't open their wings to just any crazy kook that comes calling. They're a very private people, especially with the demand for their dust so high.

There's a map to their land in the back of every bat handler's bat manual, and the complicated catacombs underneath Psyhigh provide a path to get there. I've packed my provisions and am heading out tonight.

3/18/2018 9:59pm

Since I became Psyhigh's bat handler, the bats in Psyhigh's belfies have gotten to know me better and better. I whistle and they flock to me, nuzzling me with their noses, looking for mosquitoes, midges, and mayflies in the nooks and crannies of my coat. I bring a big bucket of beetles and toss up handfuls in the air and watch the bats gobble 'em down.

I have a notion to start a bat delivery service--delivery by bat. But how big a sack can a flock of bats carry? And what do campus kids want delivered? Smoothies from the Spoonbender? Books from the library? We'll swoop in and snag your sack, once I train these bats up right.

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Doll Flu
3/12/2018 9:01pm

Debbie the Doll Manager arrived today, Debbie dragging the doll manger behind her up to my door. But I heard those paranormal puppets sniffling and sneezing and snorting up their haunted doll snot and knew immediately there was no way I could let them near my bats. Bats have such trouble as it is with Pseudogymnoascus destructans, I have an obligation to minimize the risk of reverse zoonosis no matter what the possibility. And who knows what it's called when there's dolls involved.

So I'm afraid I sent Debbie the Doll Manager on her way, perhaps to stay at a Super 8.

3/8/2018 10:19pm

My pal Katherine the Cat Wrangler had a great stay. She and her cats completed cleaning the campus of rats and mice and took a red-eye back to Reno. So I'm back to handling the bats on my own, making my rounds of the roosts and making sure the bats are bountiful.

Another old friend, Debbie the Doll Manager, caught wind of Kat's vacation and now she wants to come too. My bats don't react in a pleasant way around those haunted dolls, but I feel obliged to open up my belfry when they call. Looks like I'll be picking up the papers and preparing for another partner soon!

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3/4/2018 2:09pm

We took the bats and the cats on a catwalk batwalk across campus late last night, traipsing over telephone lines and tethers, rolling over walls and roofs in a cloud of claw and wing. The remnant of the Popcorn Moon was enough to light our way, the cats with their low light lenses and the bats with their ultrasound ears. They like to tussle just above the ground, teasing and testing each other's toughness till somebody gets hurt. So it's safer if we walk at night.

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2/27/2018 5:21pm

Katherine the Cat Wrangler arrived last night, with all her cats and kittens in tow. She flies coach with her kitties, cramped in carry-ons or stuffed in her clutch. They're all big fans of the Sky Mall Kitties (Kitties of the Air), and the flight attendants give them special treats.

They tumbled out the taxi, tearing up the stairs to the top of the tower which serves as my bat handling roost, bat wings and fur exploding when they reached the top. Oh how they love to play!

Can't wait to show Katherine an awesome time at my new school. Watch for us walking our bats and cats!

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2/25/2018 11:51am

I'll admit I'm not a cat handler. That'd be my friend, Katherine the Cat Wrangler. She's from cactus country, and has plenty of experience herding those cuties cross country. She's dropping by to see me, with her feline friends in tow. I'll need to sweep up the guano and set down new newspaper, but my belfry will be beautiful when my beloved Kat arrives. Looking forward to the week!

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